Tag Archives: Immigration

U.S. Immigration and Coronavirus Disease 2019 – Facts, Thoughts, Questions and Answers

Travel to the U.S. – Suspensions and Restrictions (Updated March 15, 2020) The White House has published three Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related proclamations relating to travel to the United States: Jan. 31, 2020: Proclamation 9984, Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus. … Continue Reading

Significant Restrictions at U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Italy Due to COVID-19 (also in Italian)

As an update to our Feb. 26 post regarding the U.S. Consulate General in Milan temporarily suspending its routine visa services, on March 9, 2020, the Italian government issued a decree which restricts the movement of the country’s entire population effective immediately. This decree is valid until April 3, 2020, but is subject to change. Employers … Continue Reading

Leadership Changes at USCIS

There are reported leadership changes at USCIS.  According to reports, Joe Edlow, chief counsel of USCIS, has been appointed deputy director for policy, assuming responsibilities of Mark Koumans, deputy USCIS director and interim leader, who takes a new deputy director for operations role.  According to reports, Mr. Koumans may return to DHS in a new … Continue Reading

President Trump Signs Appropriation Packages Extending Vital Programs Like EB-5 and Preventing a Government Shutdown

On Dec. 20, 2019, President Trump signed H.R. 1865, an eight-bill appropriations bill that extends the vital EB-5 program until Sept. 30, 2020, among other things. The president also signed H.R. 1158, a four-bill appropriations package that deals mainly with national security issues. Upon his signature,  these actions fund and maintain the operation of government … Continue Reading

Greenberg Traurig’s Kristen Walker Ng Honored as 2019 National Law Review ‘Go-To Thought Leader’ on Immigration

Based on an analysis of more than 100,000 legal news articles, legal publisher The National Law Review (NLR) recognized Kristen Walker Ng, an associate in Greenberg Traurig LLP’s Immigration & Compliance Practice,  as a 2019 “Go-To Thought Leader” in Immigration. According to NLR, the Go-To Thought Leadership Awards recognize exceptional authors in 35 legal practice … Continue Reading

$10.00 Fee for H-1B Electronic Registration

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced it will require a $10 non-refundable fee for each H-1B registration, once it implements the electronic registration system. The final rule, Registration Fee Requirement for Petitioners Seeking to File H-1B Petitions on Behalf of Cap-Subject Aliens, will be effective Dec. 9, 2019. Upon implementation of the electronic registration system, … Continue Reading

Poland Designated 39th Member Country in Visa Waiver Program

As reported previously, President Trump announced that his administration has nominated Poland as a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) participating country. Today, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan formally announced the designation of Poland into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) . On Nov. 11, 2019, Polish citizens and nationals will have the ability to apply for … Continue Reading

Comprehensive EB-5 Modernization Legislation Introduced in the U.S. Senate

Today, Senators Graham (R-SC), Rounds (R-SD) and Cornyn (R-TX) introduced the “Immigrant Investor Program Relief Act” (S. 2778, the Act) proposing long overdue improvements to modernize the EB-5 program in alignment with industry and market principles.  The Act reflects a fair compromise between rural and urban stakeholders providing substantial market advantages to rural and urban … Continue Reading

Extension of El Salvador TPS Wind-Down Through Jan. 4, 2021, Announced

Today, El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele announced on Twitter a one-year extension (through Jan. 4, 2021) of the wind-down period of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for approximately 200,000 El Salvadorians working in the United States. Prior to today’s announcement and as previously reported, TPS status for El Salvador was extended in January 2018 through Sept. 9, 2019. Meanwhile, … Continue Reading

Senate Approves CR to Fund Government, Including Vital Programs Like EB-5

Today, the U.S. Senate approved the House-passed Continuing Resolution (CR; H.R. 4378 ) to fund the U.S. government through Nov. 21 by a bipartisan vote of 82-15. The last step in the process is the president’s signature which, according to media reports, remains likely.    Please contact your GT attorney with any specific questions and check … Continue Reading

Friendly Fire: USCIS Deploys New Definition of ‘Residence’ in Statutory Provisions Related to Citizenship

On Aug. 28, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued new policy guidance “to address requirements for ‘residence’ in statutory provisions related to citizenship, and to rescind previous guidance regarding children of U.S. government employees and members of the U.S. armed forces employed or stationed outside the United States.” USCIS has updated its Policy … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Adds More to Disclosure Data to Include End Client Information

The H-1B program is undergoing even more scrutiny under the current White House administration. Under the “Buy American, Hire American” Executive Order, the goal is for companies to hire only the best and the brightest for visa sponsorship, mostly H-1B visa holders. The Department of Labor (DOL), the governmental agency that handles the public disclosure … Continue Reading

Administration Extends TPS for Syria

The Department of Homeland Security has announced an extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) through March 31, 2021, for approximately 7,000 Syrian nationals legally in the United States. For more information on Syria or other TPS matters, please contact your GT attorney or click here. This blog will be updated as information becomes available, so please check back … Continue Reading

EB-5 Regulations Published for Public Inspection

After more than two and a half years, Obama-era EB-5 immigration regulations are set to be published on July 24, 2019, with an effective date 120 days after publication or Nov. 21, 2019. See EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization. These regulations have been opposed by many industry participants, as evidenced in a letter to Congressional Leadership … Continue Reading

House Passes Per-country Cap Elimination Bill that Affects Employment-based Visa Programs

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 1044, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019, that eliminates per-country quotas for all employment-based immigrant visa petitions by a wide, bipartisan vote of 365-65. The bill includes language helpful to the EB-5 program relating to a transition period for implementation, as explained – Fairness for … Continue Reading

Immigrant Entrepreneurship: An American Success Story

On June 4, 2019, the Kenan Institute released a timely policy brief, “Immigrant Entrepreneurship: An American Success Story,” on the value of highly skilled and motivated foreign entrepreneurs to the U.S. economy. The brief states, “When looking at the founding of the United States’ largest startups…[t]he immigrant-founded startups employ an average of more than 1,200 workers … Continue Reading

Presidential Memorandum on Enforcing the Legal Responsibilities of Sponsors of Aliens – Stakeholder Message

USCIS Acting Director Cuccinelli tweeted June 14 that “@USCIS took action to further @POTUS directive to enforce the legal responsibilities of sponsors. Self-sufficiency is a principle that has been enshrined in our laws since the 1800s & we must ensure that immigrants who become part of our country abide by this principle.” His multiple tweets … Continue Reading

Ian Macdonald, Jennifer Hermansky, and Courtney Noce Named 2019 Immigration Law Trailblazers

Ian R. Macdonald, co-chair of Greenberg Traurig LLP’s Immigration & Compliance Practice, as well as Jennifer Hermansky and Courtney B. Noce, shareholders in the practice, were each recognized by the National Law Journal (NLJ) with the 2019 Immigration Trailblazer award. The award recognizes movers and shakers in the legal industry who have made an impact … Continue Reading

New Leadership at USCIS; Former VA AG Ken Cuccinelli Named Acting Director

Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has been appointed acting director of USCIS, replacing Acting Director Koumans. Director Koumans replaced Director Cissna on June 3 as acting director.  Below is the USCIS release: WASHINGTON— Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan today announced that Kenneth T. (Ken) Cuccinelli will serve as the new acting director of … Continue Reading

The United States Will Now Require Visa Applicants to Provide Social Media Information

Under a new State Department policy, virtually all visa applicants to the United States are now required to submit information about social media accounts they have used in the past five years. Applicants for immigrant and nonimmigrant visas must use the State Department’s Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) to complete online forms for nonimmigrant (DS-160) … Continue Reading

OMB Releases Spring Unified Regulatory Agenda; Provides Update on EB-5 and Other Pending Regulations

Today, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the bi-annual Spring 2019 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions.    As set forth in a Federal Register notice and using the Department of Homeland Security as an example, the Unified Agenda is explained as follows:  This regulatory agenda is a semiannual summary of projected … Continue Reading

USCIS Completes Data Entry of Fiscal Year 2020 H-1B Cap Subject Petitions

On May 17, USCIS announced completion of data entry for all fiscal year 2020 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in its computer-generated random selection process. USCIS will now begin returning petitions that were not selected. USCIS will issue another announcement once it has finished returning all petitions that were not selected. As has been the case in … Continue Reading
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